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New study 'finds method for early detection of Alzheimer's'

New study 'finds method for early detection of Alzheimer's'
29th March 2010

Japanese scientists claim to have developed a new medical test which will allow the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in its early stages.

Early in its development, Alzheimer's disease can be very hard to diagnose, but this new method creates a significantly more accurate picture of the patient's condition, according to the article in The FASEB Journal.

The method involves using a specifically created enzyme which measures the concentration of high molecular weight A-Beta oligomers in the spinal fluid, which are known to be a primary cause of brain degeneration among Alzheimer's patients.

Takahiko Tokuda MD PhD, a researcher from the Department of Neurology at the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine Graduate School of Medical Science in Japan, said: "We hope that our new diagnostic test will, in the future, significantly improve the lives of people with Alzheimer's disease, and lead to much better ways of treating this devastating disorder."

The test promises to "set a marker" for future treatments, according to Gerald Weissmann MD, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal.

Over 820,000 people in the UK are living with dementia, with two-thirds of cases among the elderly being diagnosed as Alzheimer's disease.